Course specification and structure
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UDMUSBUS - BA (Hons) Music Business

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Arts Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Arts
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Subject Area Business and Management
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS 6 YEARS
Part-time 4 YEARS 8 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

This course is designed for those who wish to work within the music industry or many related creative/entertainment sectors. Music is universally important to media, devices, events; films, games, fashion; applications, advertisement, brands; corporations and enterprises.

The degree features a significant practical, entrepreneurial, business orientation. Practice and employability are built into the structure of this robust business course. The structure and content of this course reflect the astute requirements of students and industry standards, focusing on forward-looking practice, consultation-oriented analysis and sustained employability.

The music sector creates a significant contribution to economic and cultural life in the UK and globally. The UK music industry is the world’s third largest (after USA and Japan).
Moreover, the past few years have shown that the businesses within this sector are experiencing systemic recovery, growth and overall positive transformation. As such, it is a major generator of employment in Britain and other developed nations in the 21st Century. The global music industry reached its centenary and a new cycle in its development is in full swing, especially in creation of new revenue models. The new use of music, recordings and performances through modern interactive media remain the driving forces behind the omnipresence of music in everyday life worldwide.

The transformational nature of new online revenue streams, interactive digital platforms (esp. communication and distribution) of creative content presents all creative sectors - and music industry at their centre - with prospects and experimentations that lead to change.

This course pays special attention to the strategic management of change, patterns of digital, interactive communication and distribution, and new business models fit for the 21st century. Moreover, students engage in live events practice and are mentored by our industry partners when delivering real, live music services with London-based businesses.

The degree programme also benefits from a unique and close partnership with the Music Managers Forum (MMF), global leaders in music/artist management, a guild-type organisation that represents the interests of music managers and their clients worldwide.

Contemporary media, communications and entertainment sectors cannot be imagined without music. Many of the revenue generators in the global world of business utilise music, and it plays a pivotal business role across sectors beyond the music industry.

Graduates will enter the industry at an exciting time of change when entrepreneurial spirit and a drive for innovation are widely rewarded, as many success stories of emerging music services show. Global corporate giants invest in music in new ways; start-ups transform the business landscape; live music sectors are stronger than ever. Digital music revenues have increased in 2020.

Our educational philosophy is rooted in the development of creative and enterprising individuals who operate, manage and perform in an array of stimulating professional environments. Graduates and alumni have proved capable of developing an in-depth understanding of the context in which the music, and allied creative industries operate both globally and locally – and putting this to good use in practice.

This philosophy is achieved through learner-centred strategies. Using blended-learning, digital media and business practice, these teaching and learning methods establish in-depth understanding aligned with the development of employability emphasised. This is done through a hybrid of exploration and application of management theories in business practice, set amongst emerging global digital technology, with an emphasis on practical application to solve live or simulated business problems through enquiry-based strategies associated with problem-based and practice-based learning.

Learning is further underpinned by direct experience of the industry through interaction with specialists, their companies, associated high profile clients and partner organisations.

Our students are provided with opportunities to establish their own specialism in a range of subjects that include artist and repertoire, rights management, digital business strategies, project management, creativity and enterprise, artist management - to name but a few key areas.

Course aims

The aims of this course are to:
• Provide students with an intellectually demanding programme of study which enhances understanding of the nature and characteristics of the music industry and its links to any management application in related industries and sectors; and an intellectual awareness of the position of the music industry within the broader set of creative industry contexts
• Provide students with the theory and application of key management concepts, approaches and techniques that are central to the music industry, and to augment theoretical concepts with a framework of experiential learning to ensure that students possess the practical skills necessary to make a positive and effective contribution within their chosen industry
• Provide students with a comprehensive analysis of the transformational context of fragmented digital distribution and communications channels within the global music industry context, and how, through an applied conceptualisation of contemporary theory and practice, the music industry utilises the prospects and pressures presented by the transformational forces of interactive digital platforms and novel entertainment models.
• Foster an evaluation of the social, cultural, economic and political environment in which the music industry operates and the strategic implications and broader social responsibilities that this environment generates.
• Develop skills to operate as effective learners, both individually and collaboratively, and to provide a wide range of transferable skills to ensure that graduates develop and succeed in professional careers in a variety of business contexts.

Course learning outcomes

The course will equip students with the skills and attributes that will enable them to compete with success in the complex and challenging music industry environment and employment market. This course is of inherently multidisciplinary nature and refers to two principal sets of QAA Benchmark Statements:
• The QAA statement for Business and Management subjects require the achievement in and consistent demonstration of a breadth, depth, integration and application of knowledge and understanding; subject-specific and intellectual skills; learning, personal and interpersonal skills; the capacity to deal with uncertainty and complexity; and the capabilities of evaluation, reflection, creativity and originality.
• The QAA statement for Music subjects require the achievement of diversity of approach within the same discipline or sub-discipline which can have positive value in questioning received wisdom and in developing good practice, thereby moving the study of the subject forward in innovative ways.

The University learning outcome that cuts across the entirety of the London Metropolitan University provision, and thus, the BA(Hons) Music Business is:

On completion of this course, students will be able to: demonstrate confidence, resilience, ambition and creativity and will act as inclusive, collaborative and socially responsible professionals in their discipline (ULO)

The School has translated its mission statement into a set of learning objectives that translate into the lived experience of students and academics alike to produce the attributes differentiating GSBL graduates. Upon graduating with an honours degree in Music Business, students will typically:

1. Have the confidence needed to take leadership decisions in challenging situations (LO1).
2. Possess the necessary communication skills that will help them adopt a global and multicultural perspective in their professional context (LO2).
3. Be cognisant of the effects of the social and environmental effects of their decisions and will remain active citizens of the places they live and work (LO3).
4. Demonstrate application of creative thinking skills to practical problems, and possess the analytical and organizational skills to translate creative ideas to operational solutions (LO4)
5. Have a wide knowledge and understanding of the broad range of areas of business and management and the detailed relationships between these and their application to practice relevant to the Music industry (LO5).
6. Consistently demonstrate a command of subject-specific skills as well as proficiency in generic skills and attributes (LO6).
7. Have a view of business and management that is relevant to Music Business and influenced by a wide range of learning sources, based on a proactive and independent approach to learning (LO7).
8. Be distinguished from the basic standard (threshold) of achievement by their enhanced capacity to develop and apply their own perspectives to their studies, to deal with uncertainty and complexity, to explore alternative solutions, to demonstrate critical evaluation and to integrate theory and practice in a wide range of situations (LO8).

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is based on the model of progressive and inclusive curriculum, QAA Subject Benchmark Standards and University Assessment Framework, with study skills being introduced, then practiced and finally assessed in one or consecutive modules.

Assessment methods intend to be appropriate to the aims and level of the module and its desired learning outcomes, with difficulty of the assessment increasing per level. At level 4, assessments intend to focus on assessing student’s knowledge and comprehension, then increase in difficulty to assess application and analysis skills, to finally in level 6 measure also ability to synthesise and evaluate information.

Additionally, assessments on level 4 tend to employ forms that students are likely to be familiar with from earlier stages of education (e.g. essays, presentations and tests), while new forms of assessment, more advanced in digital literacy and linked to professional business environment (e.g. blogs, business pitch, report, audit, portfolio, consultancy, etc.) are introduced on levels 5 and 6. Variety of assessment forms considers diverse socio-cultural body of students and intends to provide forms of engagement suitable to different learning needs. Many assessments allow for personalisation, with students being given a choice of the object of study.

An effort has been made to ensure spread of assessments per level of study, with obvious limitations such as end of academic year. An annual assessment calendar is available to students at the beginning of the academic year, hence student’s practice of effective time management skills is essential in ensuring even workload.

Formative feedback and feedforward are embedded within the course on all levels, where students can discuss draft work and early research findings. Modules use varied feedback mechanisms, including oral feedback in taught sessions, written feedback on draft work (e.g. comments on blog posts), feedback sessions (in-class and online via Blackboard Collaborate), written and audio feedback on the final work and sometimes visual feedback (e.g. mind maps of feedback on draft work, e.g. dissertation). The timeline of feedback provision is in line with University policies and standards, and marking schemes for levels 4, 5 and 6 respectively are employed in all modules.

All assessments (apart from artefacts and any exams) are submitted online via Weblearn/Turnitin to ensure timely submission and monitoring of engagement. Online submission enables anonymous marking and guarantees equal access for all module tutors and external markers to assignments.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

The Careers and Employability Team assists students in obtaining placements tailored to students’ needs and/or circumstances. Its service is targeted to support students before, during and after their placement. Placement preparation workshops or one-to-one interviews run during the year prior to the placement to provide advice and support on aspects such as CVs, job applications, interview technique and job search strategies.

Individual support is provided during the placement, complementing the role of academic placement supervisors, and reflection and debriefing workshops are organised in the year following placement. Staff have contacts with employers in many business sectors in the region and may also help arrange placements abroad.

Currently it is possible to undertake work placements or internships that are worth 15 credits during or outside term-time. Two modules are offered: ‘Learning Through Work’, which focuses on the learning experience in an employee position for a minimum of 5 weeks (or the equivalent of this part-time); and ‘Creating a Winning Business’ which applies to a taught learning experience where students develop a business plan. With respect to the latter the students who wish to pursue an entrepreneurial path may benefit from the university’s unique partnership with the Accelerator, a business incubator. The course team aims to establish partnerships across the industry.

The course includes the option to take a paid 30-credit Work Placement module at level 6 or sandwich year, that is, between levels 5 and 6 (subject to approval by the Careers and Employability Team). As this extends the course to 4 years including the placement year, students must seek appropriate advice on funding implications.

Course specific regulations

There are no specified part-time structures for this course. Students on a part-time mode of study are required to take between 30 and 90 credits per academic year to complete the degree programme within the maximum time length allowed (6 years for a three-year course).
Programme planning is therefore agreed between the student and course team, in accordance with regulations on progression and completion.

Modules required for interim awards

CertHE Music Business: 120 credits at Level 4
DipHE Music Business: 240 credits at Level 5
BA (unclassified) Music Business: 300 credits at Level 6 (excluding Project/Dissertation)
BA (Honours) Music Business: 360 credits at Level 6 (including Project/Dissertation)

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Developing reflective practice in students is built into the curriculum, and two specific activities to support this are the introduction of Enhancement Weeks and Personal Development Planning (PDP), which are now an established part of the undergraduate programmes.

Enhancement weeks are scheduled to enable students to engage in broader course-based activities such as opportunities for reflective engagement with feedback, career preparation and employability development activities, conferences by and for students, and programme planning advice.

PDP is embedded in activities and assessments to encourage and emphasise reflection on learning goals and outcomes, to plan ways to address students’ learning development needs and to capture their learning achievements. PDP on the course involve a variety of processes and formats as appropriate to the discipline (e.g., learning journals, e-portfolios, annotated sketchbooks, case books, skills audits, reflective commentaries, graduation statements).

For example, with regard to reflective learning, most core modules contain explicit statements concerning the practice and assessment of students’ reflective skills both individually and in groups. A wide range of the course modules also assess the student reflective practice through learning journals or logs contributing to personal development planning and career management. In this way, students will be encouraged to develop specific skills increasing their employability prospects by the end of the course.

Generic and transferable skills are integrated into the context of music business in a wide range of modules that are delivered centrally. Assessment is customised to focus on research and enterprise in sector-context, which enables the promotion of best practice, such as:
• Incorporation of a formative assessment task for most modules at each level
• Publication and communication of assessment criteria from the outset of module delivery
• Provision of details on feedback, including timing and overall management at module and course levels

Other external links providing expertise and experience


Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Upon successful completion of the degree, students can find work across the music industry, media and entertainment sectors, as well as marketing, public relations, and digital start-ups. Graduates achieve work and enterprise positions across the music, entertainment and media sectors, including but not limited to: artist management, record companies, music publishing, industry bodies (AIM, WIN, IFPI etc), digital distributors, the live/music events sector, online or broadcast media, major apps and networks (e.g. TikTok) publishers (e.g. Sony/ATV), collection societies (PRS) etc. The annual event (established in 2011) ‘The Lab Grand Plenary’ also serves as a gateway to employment as a showcase of student excellence in music marketing. Additionally, networking, placements and internships, industry-centred events, recommendations, calls and contacts enabled through industry partners and visiting professors assist students in further career progression. Many successful alumni return to offer students work placements and employment opportunities within the organisations where they work or which they lead as independent entrepreneurs. Finally, this degree course serves as an excellent springboard for continuous professional development and further study, including our MA/MSc and Research Degree programmes.

Career opportunities

This is an exciting time to enter the music industry, as it transforms into an ever more multifaceted field of practice that utilises digital platforms and new business models. This degree is designed to greatly increase your employment prospects and opportunities in music business.

The course will equip you with the skills required for entrepreneurial practice and management. On graduation you’ll be equipped to follow in the footsteps of our successful students, such as our 2018 graduate who secured a job with a fin-tech start-up within a month of graduating. He later used his experience of working in a start-up and the skills he gained on our course to set up his own digital business.

Our alumni take on a variety of roles in the music industry, from record label managers and live event promoters to digital publishers and professionals in indie label associations such as Association of Independent Music (AIM) and Worldwide Independent Network (WIN). Other career opportunities include, but are not restricted to, record company executives, positions in digital music platforms and services, digital marketing and distribution roles, publishing managers, tour managers, artist managers, strategy advisers, marketing and public relations consultants.

Continuing your studies with us

The Guildhall School of Business and Law also has a range of industry-linked postgraduate courses available on a full-time and part-time basis in business management, tourism and events, marketing and fashion, law and human resources. These courses would be ideal for postgraduate progression:

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades CCC in three A levels (or a minimum of 96 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC National, OCR Diploma or Advanced Diploma) in academic or business subjects
  • English language and mathematics GCSEs at grade C (grade 4) or above (or equivalent)

These requirements may be varied in individual cases.

If you don't have traditional qualifications or can't meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, it is possible for you to complete the first year of our Business Management (including foundation year) BA (Hons) and then transfer to this course. The generic business foundation year will equip you with all the necessary skills and knowledge to excel at university, plus the necessary academic credits to progress onto this three-year Music Business BA (Hons) course.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2019/20 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 04 Sep 2019 Last validation date 04 Sep 2019  
JACS codes
Route code MUSBUS

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
AC4056 Business Law and Ethics Core 15 NORTH AUT MON PM
          NORTH AUT WED AM
          NORTH AUT TUE PM
          NORTH AUT TUE AM
FE4255 Understanding the Business and Economic Environ... Core 15 NORTH SPR MON AM
HR4052 Managing People in Organisations Core 15 NORTH SPR FRI AM
          NORTH SPR FRI PM
          NORTH SPR THU AM
          NORTH SPR WED AM
          NORTH SPR TUE PM
          NORTH SPR TUE AM
          NORTH SPR THU PM
          NORTH SPR WED PM
          NORTH SPR MON PM
          NORTH SPR MON AM
LT4057 Event Planning and Management Core 15 NORTH AUT WED PM
LT4059 Music Publishing Core 15 NORTH AUT THU AM
MC4061 Principles of Marketing Core 15 NORTH SPR MON PM
          NORTH SPR THU PM
          NORTH SPR THU AM
MC4062 Media Culture and Society Core 15 NORTH AUT MON AM
MN4W51 Learning Through Organisations (Professional Pr... Core 15 NORTH SPR TUE AM

Stage 1 Level 04 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
AC4056 Business Law and Ethics Core 15        
FE4255 Understanding the Business and Economic Environ... Core 15 NORTH SPR MON AM
HR4052 Managing People in Organisations Core 15 NORTH SPR FRI AM
          NORTH SPR THU AM
          NORTH SPR WED AM
          NORTH SPR TUE PM
          NORTH SPR TUE AM
          NORTH SPR THU PM
          NORTH SPR WED PM
          NORTH SPR MON PM
          NORTH SPR MON AM
          NORTH SPR FRI PM
LT4057 Event Planning and Management Core 15        
LT4059 Music Publishing Core 15        
MC4061 Principles of Marketing Core 15 NORTH SPR MON PM
          NORTH SPR THU AM
          NORTH SPR THU PM
MC4062 Media Culture and Society Core 15        
MN4W51 Learning Through Organisations (Professional Pr... Core 15 NORTH SPR TUE AM

Stage 2 Level 05 Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
LT5088 Artist Management Core 15        
LT5089 Music Industry Contracts and Negotiation Core 15        
LT5W51 Live Events Practice Core 15        
MC5055 Digital Marketing Core 15        
MN5070 The Practice of Consultancy Core 15        
MN5W50 Creating a Winning Business 1 Alt Core 15        
MN5W55 Learning through Work Alt Core 15        
LT5078 Sustainability, Business and Responsibility Option 15        
LT5093 The Event Experience Option 15        
LT5094 Field Trip Option 15        
MN5073 Developing Inclusive Organisations Option 15        
MN5076 Fundamentals of Project Management Option 15        
MN6W04 Professional Experience Year Placement Option 30        
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15        

Stage 3 Level 06 Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
LT6051 Artist and Repertoire Core 15        
LT6093 Creative Media Practice and Music Business Models Core 15        
LT6094 Music Media Marketing Lab Core 15        
MN6068 Financial Decision Making for Managers Core 15        
MN6076 Leading Innovation Core 15        
MN6P05 Consultancy Project Core 30        
LT6083 Event Sponsorship and Fundraising Option 15        
LT6091 Service Excellence for Creative industries Option 15        
LT6092 Creative Artists Rights and Legal Disputes (Opt... Option 15        
MN6070 Social Marketing Option 15        
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15